Stocking Up

Posted: May 11th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: City Livin', Daddio, Discoveries, Hoarding, Housewife Superhero, Husbandry, Shopping | 19 Comments »

I must’ve forgotten to lock my car the other night.

Living in Oakland this results in one of three outcomes:

1) Someone steals the car. This is not a risk for me as I drive a 1999 Subaru with a dent on the passenger side that goes from the front door to the back bumper. The interior is covered in pretzels and dessicated mini carrots, and at least one sippy cup of sour milk is lodged under a seat somewhere. If anything, car thieves leave Post-It Notes on my windshield suggesting I look into some of the new leasing deals.

2) Someone rifles through your belongings. Generally this involves stealing change, cell phone headsets, and Luna Bars or Slim Jims (depending on your dietary preferences).

3) Nothing. Whenever my car’s been left unlocked and nothing has happened I freak out a little. Worried that Oakland is losing its edge or something. Then I get insulted. “What—my parking change is no good for you?” I yell to the homeless man picking through our recycling. “There are some perfectly good Elmo board books in here, only lightly chewed,” I bellow. “You can still read all the words!” I find myself merchandising old maps of downtown Sacramento and broken Crayon bits to anyone passing by.

I’ll get them to want to steal my stuff if it’s the last thing I do.

Well yesterday—on my birthday—after a rousing early-morning argument with my husband, I frantically shooed the running-late kids to the car where I see the contents of our glove box—insurance papers, registration, Children’s Benadryl, a box of raisins, an old work ID with a really good photo of me, Band-Aids, hair clips, a black Sharpie, and several tampons—strewn over the front seat.

Yes, I said tampons. Do YOU keep tampons in your car?

As I scooped everything up to shove back into the glove box I was surprised to see just how many tampons I had. (While feeling slightly offended that they weren’t taken. What is WRONG with my tampons? They’ve got easy-glide applicators! I have a variety of absorbancies! Are they not good enough for my neighborhood hoodlums?)

I ended up counting NINE emergency tampons. This, it appears, is one of those things I do. I have the thought, “I should keep a tampon in the car in case I ever need one.” Then three months later, I have the same thought. And without looking to see what’s there, I toss another one in.

As I mentioned this car is a ’99. Given our long history it’s a miracle the entire hatch back isn’t teeming with feminine products.

And as far as I can tell I’ve never once needed an emergency tampon. And if I did, I’d probably forget they were there. And simply drive to a store to get some.

I’m not sure what the scenario I’m envisioning for their use. That we’re driving through the temperate Berkeley hills and get stuck in a snow bank? Then I start menstruating at a phenomenal, un-soppable rate? And while rationing out the small box of raisins between my cold hungry children, I suddenly experience stigmata? Thankfully I’ll have some light-flow Tampax I can tie to my wrists to staunch the blood, freeing me up to write a life-saving emergency message on a 1998 map of the Gilroy Outlets with my black Sharpie.

See? It all MAKES SENSE.

But really, irrational thoughts about what’s needed to protect our families just comes with the territory when you’re a mom. I can assure you that before having children I never thought that having a bold-colored permanent marker in my car was likely to be the difference between my survival and dying in the parking lot of my neighborhood Trader Joe’s.

Whenever a snowstorm is predicted in Rhode Island my father calls me to report on the scene at the grocery stores. This is especially entertaining since George Bush Senior has been in a grocery store more recently than my father. Nonetheless Dad claims that the stores in town are packed with folks frantically stocking up on bread and milk. These people could be lactose intolerants who haven’t touched carbs in years, but they’re blindly compelled to purchase these things at times of imminent snowfall. It’s a natural instinct you just can’t fight.

Me? I’m the same way. But it doesn’t take a storm for me to buy two boxes of Wheat Thins EVERY TIME I GO TO THE STORE. I get agita imagining what might happen if we were to ever run out of those delightful whole grain crackers. Not that we even eat them all that much.

I also buy black beans every time I shop. And that Near East rice pilaf. “Do we already have some of this?” I wonder. But because I’m the one asking the question, I’m unsurprisingly unable to provide the answer.

So always, always, I roll on the safe side and buy more.

This habit causes Mark to bellow from our basement pantry things like, “Embargo on Cheerios!” Followed by him muttering, “For the love of God we have no less than 15 boxes of cereal here.”

Which leads to me call down the stairs, “How’re we doing on black beans?”

As far as tampons go, I feel quite certain that the supplies in our cars alone could take me through to menopause. At which point I’ll likely make regular trips to Walgreens to pick up my estrogen prescription.

But, don’t you worry. Should anything go awry when I venture three blocks to the store, I’ve got raisins, Band-Aids, and a black Sharpie marker. I am totally ready.

What do you obsessively stock up on?


19 Comments on “Stocking Up”

  1. 1 Karen said at 3:04 am on May 11th, 2012:

    For me it is the 4 pack boxes of capri suns. My son takes them to school with his lunch. I think I have 15 of them. Which means I have enough for the next year (approx. 600). That does not include the grocery store bag full I have in the upstairs pantry; so I don’t have to keep running to the basement of course ;-)

    But I know if I am at the store and see them onsale, I will probably buy another 10 packs. Come on they are on sale, can you blame me…..

  2. 2 Alexandra said at 4:20 am on May 11th, 2012:


    Great way to start my morning, funny lady.

  3. 3 Sally said at 4:37 am on May 11th, 2012:

    another homerun, cuz….!!

  4. 4 Stella said at 4:41 am on May 11th, 2012:

    I keep tampons in my glove box, too.

  5. 5 kristen said at 6:19 am on May 11th, 2012:

    Smoochies, Empress!

  6. 6 Mary said at 7:23 am on May 11th, 2012:

    This is actually great information, because I never seem to have one when I need it. At home or in the car. I may just be the one riffling through your glovebox at 3am.

  7. 7 Jenny kipp said at 8:26 am on May 11th, 2012:

    Very very funny. I myself has a very large secret (to me…when I need it) stash of feminine products. My big sister just organized it for me in her own special way.

  8. 8 Tracy in Suburbia said at 8:45 am on May 11th, 2012:

    Buried in those nuggets of emergency menstrual information was the fact that yesterday was your birthday! Woo-hoo!! Hope you celebrated in a big way (after filing the police report and what not) and reveled in the fact that no matter how old you get, you are still younger than me!

  9. 9 kristen said at 9:39 am on May 11th, 2012:

    I find it hard to believe–but thrilling–that *anyone* is older than me. Just one more reason to like you, Tracy.

    Last night was the family celebration, tonight is the throwdown at the tiki bar.


  10. 10 Mary Patrick said at 12:13 pm on May 11th, 2012:

    I don’t know how old you turned, but apparently not old enough to know that there is a delightful stage of pre-menopause that will have you soak nine tampons in less time than in takes to scream “Anarchy of the Uterus.” Your accidental stockpiling of tampons is a wise investment in your future.

  11. 11 Leigh Ann said at 12:40 pm on May 11th, 2012:

    Oh, I know how fast those damn Wheat Thins can go. One minute you’ve got a whole box, and the next it’s a Wheat Thins crisis. And black beans? I open a can, use 2/3 of it, save the rest, and forget so then the next time I need some I open another can, use 2/3 of it, save the rest… get it. I’ve probably thrown out an entire pallet of beans in the past year alone.

  12. 12 kristen said at 12:42 pm on May 11th, 2012:

    Ha! I’m like that with restaurant leftovers. I’m at the point where I say to my husband, “Let’s take this home, refrigerate it for a few days, then throw it out.”

  13. 13 Margaret said at 3:48 pm on May 11th, 2012:

    Maybe your glove box rummager was post menopausal, and thus no need for lady products? I’d like to imagine a coven of mid sixties urban grandmas sneaking around at night fucking shit up.

  14. 14 Claudia said at 5:20 pm on May 11th, 2012:

    You had me at “temperate Berkeley Hills…” Oh Kristen, you have the gift…That was one inspired paragraph. Happy new trip around the sun my young friend!!!!!! Glad you got to celebrate numerous times. See you again in a matter of weeks.

  15. 15 HouseTalkN said at 6:30 pm on May 11th, 2012:

    Someone broke into my car and made away with a bag they must have perceived as my purse. Imagine their surprise to find emergency tampons, band-aids and sunscreen!
    Kerry at HouseTalkN

  16. 16 kristen from motherload said at 6:58 am on May 12th, 2012:

    That was actually me, HouseTalkN! I needed MORE tampons.

    Oddly, I don’t keep sunscreen in my car. And I have two lily white blonde girls. What have I been thinking?! You can bet I’ll start loading bottles of it in there on a regular basis now.

    Look for me on the next episode of Hoarders: The Car Edition.

  17. 17 dona B said at 7:46 pm on May 17th, 2012:

    I started putting tampons in the outside pocket of the diaper bag when my period finally started again. I guess I thought it had been so long I might have forgotten what cramps feel like and I’d leave the house unprepared. I guess I put them in there a few times, because my toddler discovered that pocket the other day and emptied it and found six of them. Assorted varieties here, too.

    Of course, we were at the park when this happened. On the day when all the daddies were there. Including a kind of hot one who happened to be sitting really nearby.

    I also hoard napkins in the car. My Prius has two glove boxes. One contains only napkins and it is full.

  18. 18 kristen from motherload said at 8:53 pm on May 17th, 2012:

    Well I hoard napkins too, but I thought that was required behavior as a mother. Like taking sugar packets from restaurants when you’re a senior citizen.

  19. 19 donab said at 9:25 am on May 18th, 2012:

    I’m afraid I don’t have motherhood as an excuse. I started hoarding napkins long before I got knocked up.

Leave a Reply